On the island of Shikoku, you’ll find the city of Kochi in Japan, an off-the-beaten-path stop on any cruise to Asia. Trade the bustle of Tokyo or Kobe for something a little more laid back in Kochi. There are plenty of things to do in Kochi from a cruise, including historic tours of castles and temples to dolphin sightings along the Pacific.
Kochi shore excursions are one of the best ways to learn about the culture here. Take a six-hour tour of Kochi landmarks, where you’ll begin with an introduction to Japan’s significant samurai culture at Katsurahama Beach. Then, take in beautiful views of the city from Kochi Castle, a rare Japanese castle in the area. At the limestone cave of Ryugado, you’ll enjoy true peace and quiet at a centuries-old national monument.
When you’re tired of walking, try a boat ride on a traditional yakatabune, where you’ll move on to the Niyodo River. The waters are impossibly clear, and you’ll learn a lot about the geography and history of Kochi during one of these relaxing river cruises.
Foodies and sake enthusiasts will love the intimacy of a a local sake brewery tour, where you’ll learn how the classic Japanese drink is produced and enjoy a variety of samples. Many Kochi shore excursions include a traditional Japanese lunch for passengers to enjoy the rich cuisine of the region. Kochi’s regional delicacy is called katsuo, which is a seared bonito fish seasoned with salt and vinegar. Katsuo no tataki is served and sold at restaurants and markets all over Kochi.
Then there’s the Chikurinji Temple, a pagoda built in the 8th century and still beautifully preserved today. It’s famous for its Buddhist statues and Japanese garden, and it’s a peaceful way to spend the afternoon in reflection. Don’t miss the Makino Botanical Garden in Kochi, which can be your much-needed break from the buzz and excitement of Japanese city life, and a few hours walking the grounds is restorative for any traveler on a cruise to Kochi.